Modern Exalted: Bring back the Light
Revised Crafting Rules
HAMMER AND ANVIL (mundane craft)
A mundane item with a Resources value of 3 or less requires a Craft tool of the appropriate type to create. Items with a Resources value of 4+ require an actual Crafting workshop to create. A character cannot create an item with a Resources value higher than his (Craft + relevant Specialties).
Any mundane Craft project requires the expenditure of raw materials with a total Resources value equal to one less than the Resources value of the item to be created. These raw materials must be appropriate to the item being created; swords are made with metal and coal, not diamonds and spice (though the Raksha might disagree). Exceptions do exist, at the Storyteller’s discretion; a basic calligraphy brush is Resources 1, and will remain so regardless of how aesthetically pleasing and valuable the finished work is.
Crafting is a dramatic action, with a dice pool of ([Appropriate Attribute] + Craft + Specialties + Tools), and a difficulty equal to the Resources value of the item being created.
The appropriate Attribute to use with a Craft project varies. If the crafting character is making the item with their own hands (or tools, appendages, etc), the Attribute for the roll is chosen from (Dexterity, Intelligence or Perception). However, the crafter’s effective rating in that Attribute for that roll is capped at a maximum of the lowest rating amongst the remaining two Attributes. Therefore, a crafter with Dexterity 4, Intelligence 2, and Perception 3 could use any of these Attributes to Craft, but would only treat his rating in any of them as being 2.
If the item in question is too large to be considered a “personal” creation, or uses automated crafting technology or a separate workforce to perform the actual lifting and assemblage, the character can choose to eliminate his Dexterity from this consideration. As detailed later under “Best Laid Plans”, complete existing plans can also allow a character to eliminate Intelligence from consideration, and certain artifacts exist allowing the character to eliminate Perception from consideration by keeping track of any unexpected changes or mistakes for him; therefore, an artisan with a sufficiently skilled workforce, complete plans and a quality-control artifact can pick-and-choose from his three valid Attributes.
As a dramatic action, crafting does not happen in a moment. The length of the interval for a Craft action is determined by the type and value of the item being created:
- Extremely simple items (trinkets, cooked meals, simple carvings, pottery, calligraphy, simple needlework, etc) take (Resources) hours to craft.
- Simple items (walls, leatherwork, higher alchemy, papermaking, glassblowing, etc) take (Resources) days to craft.
- Complex or large items (forged metal goods, fine woodwork, good statuary, complicated mechanisms, etc) take (Resources) weeks to craft.
- Large, complex items (vehicles, complicated carving or statuary, etc) take (Resources) months to craft. Most mundane applications of the esoteric crafts are in this category.
Most improvised items require no Craft roll to create, and can therefore be made reflexively. Those improvised creations that the Storyteller decides still need a Craft action take one minute to create, as an unrolled action.
The lengths of these intervals (years, seasons, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, five seconds) are sometimes referred to as “degrees”, and one of the common applications of magic in Crafting is to reduce an interval’s degrees, allowing a project measured in months to take place in mere weeks. Sufficiently powerful magic can even reduce a Crafting interval to (Resources) units of five seconds; such actions are no longer dramatic, and can even be taken in combat time as a series of Speed 5 miscellaneous actions that cannot be flurried. Unless otherwise specified, the minimum that a Crafting interval can be reduced to is five seconds.
If the crafter wishes, he may apply an external penalty of -2 to his Craft roll in order to reduce the length of the interval by one unit of time (from three hours to two hours, etc). He cannot do this more than once per roll. Alternatively, he may increase the length of the interval by one unit of time in order to decrease the difficulty of the Craft roll by one, to a minimum of one; again, this can only be done once per roll.
If a crafter wishes, he may put a project on hold part way, having accomplished enough of the work to set it aside for a time. Upon completing any number of units of time within the interval (two weeks out of a three-week interval, for example), the crafter may set his partially-finished project aside, and return to it later, with the same amount of the dramatic action completed. He may set a project aside mid-way through a unit of time within an interval, but unless a given unit of time has been completed, it does not count; dropping everything halfway through the second day of a project sets its completed units at one full day, not one-and-a-half.
The Storyteller is free to set a time limit on returning to this project; food does not last forever, even when thaumaturgically preserved, and wood rots and metal rusts (the crafter is always generally aware of such time limits, even if not the exact specifics or all the factors involved), and a crafter should be aware that leaving a half-finished project lying in a workshop is no guarantee against plot-induced issues such as theft, misappropriation, or the workshop being located in Ranqar. Nevertheless, this allows a character to spend a few days or hours of downtime on an item before stowing it away to work on it later, acting as a crafter while still remaining a productive member of a Circle.
However the crafter goes about achieving it, once the interval is complete, he rolls his dice pool, as detailed above. If he meets the difficulty, his crafting was successful, and the item is produced to specification. If he exceeds the difficulty with a high enough threshold, he may accidentally produce an item of higher quality, as detailed in “Commitment to Excellence”, below.
If the roll fails, an object is still produced, but it fails to meet the craftsman’s expectations, only having a Resources cost equal to his rolled successes. An attempt to produce an exceptional item that failed by one success would produce a fine example of its type, while a failed basic sword might be overly brittle and snap in half, producing an item that could be used as an improvised sword or a basic knife, and a failed painting would simply produce a less valuable piece of art. If no lower-cost alternative to the failed item exists (including an improvised version), then it simply fails and no usable object is produced. A botch always produces no usable item.
All is not lost, however! If the crafter immediately begins another craft project, attempting to create the same item, he adds a number of bonus dice to that roll equal to the rolled successes of the previous failure (regardless of whether a usable item was produced or not). He will still require sufficient raw materials to attempt the project again, but the previous failed project can often be recycled for whatever materials it can offer. The maximum number of dice that can be added to a roll in this way is equal to the character’s Craft rating, and these additional dice are only applied from the successes of the immediately previous attempt; a crafter can gradually build up an increased dice pool by learning from his mistakes and tweaking his successes, but a botch or a run of poor luck can obliterate any acquired experience with frustration, breakages, and head-trauma.
HOME, SWEET HOME (crafting mundane structures)
Building a mundane structure is similar to crafting a mundane object. Indeed, unless otherwise specified, all Craft Charms referring to the construction of a mundane object apply equally to structures. It requires the same tools, the same minimum Craft rating, uses the same dice pool and can be slowed or hastened to the same effect. However, there are a few notable differences, noted below.
First is that the raw materials required have a total cost of (Resources), rather than (Resources -1). Even a modest house requires significant investment, and the construction of a truly formidable monument can cripple a small country’s economy. Note that this cost is considered to include any unskilled labour the project may require; a massive monument will need a workforce to build, as much as the artisans and secretaries represented by the assistant bonus.
Secondly, any crafter working on a structure requires more than tools; he also needs assistants (as described under “Get By With A Little Help”). Any crafter working on a structure suffers an internal penalty of -(Resources), which can only be circumvented by the dice added by assistants, or specialised Craft Charms.
Thirdly, building a structure is an extended dramatic action, one with cumulative difficulty of (Resources x Resources), to a minimum of two. The intervals between Craft rolls for structures range from (Resources) weeks for cottages or cabins, to (Resources) months for actual houses or similar structures, to (Resources) seasons for castles or palaces. Failed rolls obviously add no successes, while botches either halve the number of accumulated successes or reduces it by (Resources), whichever would reduce it most; if this would lower the number of accumulated successes to zero, the construction is a complete failure and must be begun again from scratch.
However, structures do benefit from one major difference that helps balance out this cumulative difficulty. Namely, the rules for assistants (found below, under “Get By With A Little Help”) are altered in respect to Craft actions to build structures; the maximum number of assistants that can contribute bonus dice is increased by the Resources value of the structure being built. So if a character with Craft 4 were building a house worth Resources 3, up to seven assistants could add bonus dice to each roll, rather than four.
Improvised shelters ignore these rules; they take one hour to build, and require a normal Craft roll at a difficulty of 2. The builder’s Craft ability is capped at (Survival) for the purposes of creating such shelters.
WORKS OF GLORY (artifact crafting)
Artifacts with a rating of one or two require a Craft workshop of the appropriate type to create, while crafting artifacts with a rating of three requires that the workshop be of at least fine quality, artifacts with a rating of four require exceptional workshops, and artifacts with a rating of five (or more) require transcendent workshops. Any penalties applied to a roll to craft an artifact due to insufficient equipment are external, rather than internal. In order to create an artifact, a crafter must be an Essence-user with Lore and Occult ratings no lower than (artifact rating), and a Craft rating no lower than (artifact rating + 2). If the artifact in question is being created through Craft (Genesis), Craft is replaced with Medicine in this calculation.
Creating any artifact requires raw materials with a Resources value equal to (artifact rating + 2). Yes, this means that some artifacts are just too expensive to build with just the wealth that one person can bring to bear. An Organization (see Masters of Jade) is capable of bringing this much wealth to the table however; it requires a wealth of (artifact rating + 1). Just as with mundane craft projects, these materials must be appropriate to the artifact being created. Creating an artifact also requires the expenditure of a number of exotic ingredients equal to the artifact’s rating, as detailed in “And Everything Nice”, below. Note that the magical materials can be used as Resources-based raw materials or as exotic ingredients, as detailed in “Ji, Peng, Lu, Zhou, and Beyond” (also below).
Artifact crafting uses the same dice pool as mundane crafting, with a difficulty of (artifact rating + 2). However, it is a “true” extended dramatic action rather than simply a dramatic one that can be attempted over and over. Each interval takes (artifact rating) months, similar to large, complex mundane items, with successes being accumulated with each successful roll. Failed rolls obviously add no successes, while botches either halve the number of accumulated successes or reduce it by (artifact rating), whichever would reduce it most. If the crafter wishes, he may change his chosen Attribute from roll-to-roll, focusing on a different technique or aspect of his creation at each stage in the process.
While artifact-crafting cannot be slowed in order to reduce its difficulty, nor hastened at a cost of increased difficulty, it can be postponed midway through an interval, just as with mundane crafting.
The total number of accumulated successes necessary to complete an artifact depends on the rating of that artifact. A level-one artifact requires 15 successes, while a level-two artifact requires 30 successes, a level-three artifact requires 60 successes, a level-four artifact requires 120 successes, and a level-five artifact requires 240 successes; the requisite number doubles each time. Of course, this does not mean that a level-N/A artifact requires 480 successes; the circumstances necessary for the creation of such a wonder is entirely in the hands of the Storyteller.
DOING DRAGON LINES (manse crafting)
Building a manse is similar to crafting an artifact. Indeed, unless otherwise specified, all Craft Charms referring to the construction of an artifact apply equally to manses. It requires the same tools and raw materials, uses the same dice pool, and its rolls are made at the same difficulty as an artifact of the same rating. However, a manse is a structure rather than an object, and as such the differences in crafting methods are listed below.
Firstly, the minimum Craft rating to build a manse is (manse rating + 2), while the minimum Lore and Occult ratings are (manse rating + 1). Certain manse powers (as described in Oadenol’s Codex) will require further minimums. Crafting a manse always requires Craft (Earth), thanks to the manipulation of dragon-lines required, though it may also require other Crafts depending on the nature and aspect of the manse in question. Building a manse requires no exotic ingredients (although certain manse powers may do so) but does require that the manse be built atop a demesne of an appropriate level.
Secondly, the total number of accumulated successes necessary for each level are increased; manses with a rating of one, two, three, four or five require 25, 50, 100, 200 and 400 successes, respectively, while a level-N/A manse requires an arbitrary number of successes, in addition to the N/A rating demesne necessary to power it. Each interval takes (manse rating) seasons, the same as a large and expensive mundane structure.
Finally, a character crafting a manse requires assistants in the same way as he would if crafting a mundane structure, and can benefit from up to (manse rating) additional assistants, as with a manse. The only difference is that, if the internal penalty afflicted by a lack of assistants is not fully eliminated, it converts to an external penalty, removing successes rather than dice from each roll.
Extensive information on identifying demesnes, altering their aspects and designing manses can be found in Oadenol’s Codex. It should be noted that, just as with an artifact, designing a manse is considered to be a diceless action, covered by the minimum Lore and Occult ratings to build a manse, and the time necessary to craft it.
NOTE: Manse construction is mostly a lost art in the Third Age. However, Essence Reactors function on a similar principle.
IF IT AIN’T BROKE (repairing damaged items)
Objects can be attacked and damaged as described on pages 153-154 of Exalted. It should be noted that generally, an object’s soak and hardness is determined by what material it is comprised of, while its volume and form have a larger impact on its health levels; a staff of metal and a staff of wood might have the same number of health levels, but the metal one will have greater soak and hardness.
In any case, once a mundane object has been damaged, it can be repaired, returned to its original pristine state. This requires a Craft action, just as though building the item from scratch. The dice pool is the same as normal, but the difficulty of the roll is reduced by one, and the length of the interval is reduced by one degree of time. Repairing an item requires raw materials, but the necessary Resources value is only half what it would take to actually create the item, rounded down.
Rather than creating a new item, success on this Craft action restores a quarter of the item’s maximum health levels. Excess successes on the roll can increase the number of health levels restored; if an item created by that number of threshold successes would be Fine, half the object’s maximum health levels are restored. If the object would be Exceptional, three-quarters of the object’s maximum health levels are restored. If the object would be Transcendent , all of its health levels are completely restored. Magic that guarantees objects of a certain level of quality function equally here, improving the number of health levels restored to a given item.
Note that this process covers only damaged items, not destroyed ones; the latter must be reconstructed from scratch, though its remains might yield some raw materials (or perhaps, if the manner of its destruction was suitably epic, an exotic ingredient).
Artifacts, by default, do not have soak, hardness, or health levels; they are either entirely functional, or have been affected by some variety of magic capable of destroying or limiting them, in which case the effects are detailed in the magic itself. Even when fighting in a warstrider, the main danger stems from the pilot being pulped by kinetic forces, rather than the destruction of the artifact itself. Exceptions exist, but these are detailed in the entries for such artifacts.
A STITCH IN TIME (maintenance)
The vast majority of those items created by Craft are assumed to not require maintenance. Swords can be polished and statues can be cleaned, but ultimately they continue to exist as normal without any further effort being necessary. Even more complex items, such as clocks, function with only minor maintenance; rewinding or resetting a mechanism requires little effort or expertise, unless the mechanism in question has actually broken. For the sake of expediency, therefore, mundane items generally do not suffer from malfunctions due to lack of maintenance except as a result of outside considerations, such as damage inflicted by battles or the environment. Ultimately, the mark of time touches them only when the Storyteller deems it appropriate (food, for example, is likely to foul much more quickly than a staff will rot), and will be represented by health-level damage rather than malfunction. Characters can still engage in oiling their caravan’s wheels or retuning their shamisen, but doing so is flavour and stunt-fodder, nothing more.
Almost all artifacts truly are imperishable; a daiklave will never rust or rot, whether it is constructed from orichalcum or steel or ironwood or congealed dreams. Nor can it be inconvenienced by environments or battles; without powerful magic, most artifacts cannot even be damaged permanently (though effects that forcibly deattune them are more common, and can even be found in Celestial Martial Arts).
Some artifacts, however, do require maintenance. Most commonly, such artifacts are created with Craft (Magitech) or Craft (Necrotech) thanks to their greater degree of moving parts, though this is not always the case; at least one semi-sapient daiklave in the care of the Forbidding Manse of Ivy requires maintenance in the form of polishing, minor prayer, and genuflection. In any case, such artifacts are marked with a Maintenance rating.
The Maintenance rating describes the frequency with which an artifact will come to require maintenance. This rating consists of a number and a degree of time (years, seasons, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, or five seconds). The number is the frequency per (degree of time) that the item must undergo maintenance. For example, an artifact with a Maintenance rating of 2/week would have to undergo maintenance at least twice a week, while an artifact with a Maintenance rating of 1/month only requires a single check-up per month. Note that only time spent actually using the artifact is counted; a warstrider kept under lock-and-key will require no maintenance, while one that is constantly in the field will need constant effort to keep it running.
Maintenance itself is simple. It requires a diceless dramatic action spent retouching component sutras, resetting parts, clearing junk data, oiling joints, etc. The length of this dramatic action is two degrees lower the unit of time listed on its Maintenance rating. For example, an item with a Repair of 2/week would require a dramatic action of one hour for its maintenance, while an item with a Repair rating of 1/month would require a dramatic action lasting a full day to maintain. The character performing this maintenance must be a semi-skilled technician; their Ability ratings must be (minimum necessary to construct the artifact – 1) or higher.
If maintenance is missed even once, that artifact becomes much harder to use; its attunement cost is doubled, any mote cost necessary to activate one of its effects is doubled, and any limited running time it may have (on a given power source, for example) is halved. If maintenance is missed twice, the artifact will generally become unusable; it cannot be attuned to at all, no motes can be paid to power its effects, etc. These effects remain until the artifact undergoes maintenance; the length of a maintenance action to fix an entirely disabled artifact is increased by one degree of time.
Other artifacts have their own specific consequences for missing maintenance, detailed in their entries.
COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE (quality ratings)
While a successful Craft roll will always produce an item, and artifacts are of unwavering perfection within their design, at times a mundane Craft project may produce an item of higher quality. The four qualities are Basic, Fine, Exceptional and Transcendent , with Improvised as a fifth non-quality. A crafter may deliberately aim to create such items, or (with a greater threshold of successes) they may be produced accidentally, provided the crafter is using the appropriate tools. The Resources cost of raw materials to create items of a higher quality must still be paid if they are created accidentally; however, this cost is reduced by one, to a minimum of zero (if this cost cannot be paid, the crafter may instead create an item of lower quality and therefore cost). The effects each quality has on its item is detailed below.
Basic Quality items are just that; the standard product of a Craft roll. Basic Tools offer no benefit beyond allowing whatever activity they correspond to; a musician cannot make his Performance roll without a basic instrument, while a stone-cutter cannot make his Craft roll without a basic chisel, and a general cannot make his strategic War presentation without a rudimentary map. All Basic Tools correspond to a single Ability, and cost Resources 1. Basic Craft tools correspond to only a single area of Craft. Similarly, Basic Weapons and Basic Armour function exactly as detailed in their statblocks, providing no further benefit beyond the ability to make an attack or soak damage with them.
Fine Quality items are a cut above the rest, although not always intentionally so. They might be the result of careful balancing and precision, or simply a lucky fluke on the part of their maker. Artisans that can reliably turn out Fine items are likely to gain a reputation for good, solid craftsmanship. Fine Tools obviously provide the same benefit as Basic Tools, but also have a “specialty” within their normal use, granting a single additional die to dice pools within that area of that Ability.
As this is not an actual specialty of the character using the Tool, it does not count against the normal limit on specialties. Dice gained from Tools do not count toward die caps. However, a character can only benefit from the effects of one Tool per roll, even if he has access to multiple Tools. The sole exception to this comes with Improvised Workshops, as detailed in “Blames His Tools”, below.
Fine items have the same Resources cost as their Basic counterparts, but the difficulty to create them intentionally is increased by two, and they are created accidentally only when a Craft roll to create an item of the appropriate type acquires a threshold of at least four successes past the difficulty to create a Basic item of that type. The vast majority of NPCs will use Basic equipment, not being surrounded by those skilled enough to regularly produce Fine. Mechanically, however, there is no reason for a Player Character to not use Fine equipment, and it was considered the baseline quality for most items in the First Age (outside those areas kept wartorn or poverty-stricken by their Solar lords).
Exceptional Quality items are superior even to Fine ones, generally looked upon as the best in their field, specialty items desired by all. They can still be produced accidentally, but it is far more unlikely. Instead, items of Exceptional quality are likely to be found in high-class shops, put on display to showcase the crafter’s skill. An artisan capable of reliably producing Exceptional items will likely be scouted in short order by a Realm House, the Guild, or some other mercantile authority. Exceptional Tools function in the same way as Fine Tools, except that they offer two “specialty” dice, rather than one; these dice may be split between multiple areas of specialty.
Exceptional items of any kind have their Resources cost increased by one. The difficulty to create them intentionally is increased by two, while the minimum necessary Ability ratings are increased by one (both of these increases stack with those caused by the increased Resources value). They are created accidentally only when a Craft roll to create an item of the appropriate type acquires a threshold of at least seven successes past the difficulty to create a Basic item of that type. Most often, such items cannot simply be purchased anywhere a Player Character desires; they are more likely to be found in large cities or specialty shops (as ever, Contacts within the Guild or similar organisations may help here).
Transcendent Quality items are the peak of mundane craft, to the point that some might even mistake them for Artifacts. Indeed, such is the care and skill put into these items that they are by far the most likely to become an Artifact on their own merit (see the “Self-Made Legends” section, below). Even their small gods reflect their quality, being notably more sentient than their lesser counterparts (for all this matters). Transcendent items are the ten-thousand-folded sword passed down from father to son, the pride and joy of a prodigy jeweller, or the painstaking work of one of the best armourers in the land. Transcendent Tools function in the same way as Exceptional Tools, except that they offer three “specialty” dice, rather than two; these dice may be split between multiple areas of specialty.
Transcendent Weapons function in the same way as Exceptional Weapons, except that they provide an additional die to the appropriate Ability dice pool when used in the context of a single specialty within one Ability.
Transcendent Armour simply reduces its Fatigue value and Mobility penalty by two, and increases both its Lethal and Bashing soak by two. If this would send its Fatigue value or Mobility penalty into negatives, the excess reduction is instead converted into an equal amount of additional soak.
Transcendent items of any kind have their Resources cost increased by two. The difficulty to create them intentionally is increased by three, while the minimum necessary Ability ratings and the Resources cost of the raw materials necessary to do so are are increased by one, to a maximum of five (all of these increases stack with those caused by the increased Resources value). Such items are created accidentally only when a Craft roll to create an item of the appropriate type acquires a threshold of at least ten successes past the difficulty to create a Basic item of that type, and even then increase the cost of the raw materials to one less than (if this cost cannot be paid, the item is “merely” Exceptional). These creations are truly rare; simply purchasing one is impossible in most of Creation thanks to the lack of an appropriate market, and doing so is an event likely to be noted by many involved with the trade in question.
Improvised “Quality” items are not produced by Craft rolls. Rather, they are inventions of necessity, allowing a character to make an appropriate roll without a basic tool. Improvised Tools might include using a hollow log as a drum for Performance, a sharpened rock as a chisel for Craft, or sketched lines in the sand rather than a map for War. Such tools allow the roll in question, but inflict a -3 internal penalty on it; most early inventions were inspired by improvised items, and some cultures devastated by the Great Contagion have yet to move past them.
Improvised Weapons also exist, and might include broken chunks of rubble, felled trees, or severed limbs; it is a fundamental truth of humanity that as long as someone can lift something, it will eventually be used to hit someone. Such weapons are wielded with Melee, and use the statblock below:
Improvised Weapon: Speed 5, Accuracy -3, Damage ()B, Defence +0, Rate (), Range (), Minimums ()
All traits marked with an asterisk are subject to Storyteller determination; generally, the Damage of an Improvised Weapon is equal to the (Strength + Athletics) value necessary to lift it as a Feat of Strength. It ordinarily does Bashing damage, but certain spiky or sharp-edged improvised weapons might do Lethal damage instead. Its Rate is 1 by default, but this increases to a maximum of 2 if the wielder’s (Strength + Athletics) rating is at least twice that necessary to lift it. The only Minimum trait that applies to such weapons is, again, the (Strength + Athletics) rating necessary to lift it as a Feat of Strength.
While normally used with Melee, Improvised Weapons can be offensively hurled with Thrown. When used in this way, they have a Range equal to the wielder’s (Strength + Athletics). With a few, bizarre exceptions, Improvised Weapons cannot be aimed with Archery.
Improvised armour does not exist. The only equivalent improvised defence is cover, and few fighters are picky about the quality of that.
Improvised items obviously have no Resources cost, despite the wild claims of Sever-My-Own-Lotus Debu-La, honest salesman of Nexus. They are limited only by a character’s ability to pick one up and use it.
BLAMES HIS TOOLS (workshops)
Tools appropriate for Craft are many and varied; examples include tweezers or paintbrushes for Craft (Air), chisels or moulds for Craft (Earth), hammers or tongs for Craft (Fire), flasks or spoons for Craft (Water), or needles or sandpaper for Craft (Wood). However, it is the nature of craftsmen, above all others, to seek better tools. A true artisan can use an Improvised Tool to create a Basic Tool to create a Fine Tool to create an Exceptional Tool to create a Transcendent Tool; and once a true craftsman has a Transcendent Tool, he can create almost anything.
With this in mind, there exists another category of Tool: the Workshop. A Workshop is not just one tool; it is a combination of related tools, used in sync to produce a greater effect than just one or two tools could alone. Workshops are most prominent in Craft, in the form of forges, building sites, refineries, kitchens, sewing rooms, and garages, but can be found in other abilities; a Performance workshop could be a sound studio or theatre, while a Medicine workshop could be a surgery or research station, a War workshop could be a war-room (fighting forbidden) and a Bureaucracy workshop could be a well-furnished office. Other types of workshop are less likely; a Ride workshop is difficult to imagine, while Melee workshops are only known to exist in the strange forge-katas of Golden Disks of Alchemy Style.
Workshops are divided into the same categories of quality as Tools (Basic, Fine, Exceptional and Transcendent) and function in the exact same way, except that they add an additional die to all dice pools involving the Ability they correspond to, even if the roll in question does not correspond to any of the Workshop’s “specialties”. If the roll actually does correspond to one of those specialties, the Workshop may instead convert one die granted by the workshop into an automatic success (note that this means that Basic Workshops, which offer no dice to convert, cannot exploit this second benefit).
These benefits are offset by the fact that workshops are (generally) less portable than normal tools, and have their Resources cost increased by two. Also, all workshops require a yearly upkeep (covering wear-and-tear and unexpected explosions) with a cost equal to two less than their Resources value. As they are a type of tool, the dice granted by a workshop cannot be used alongside those granted by other tools or workshops.
Improvised workshops technically exist, but as they are nothing more than a collection of improvised tools, they function in the exact same way as improvised tools; they allow rolls that require an appropriate workshop, but inflict a -3 internal penalty to such rolls. While two tools cannot normally stack their bonuses, a tool of the appropriate type can be used with an improvised workshop, offsetting its internal penalty while still allowing it to be used as a workshop.
A number of manses have integrated workshops of varying types, often with additional, magical benefits. Some refer to the best examples of these, those Transcendent Craft workshops stemming from level-5 manses, as Factory Cathedrals; they are either ignorant or foolish. True Factory Cathedrals are wonders to shake the earth around them, their morning rituals alone alerting thaumaturges and influencing dragon-lines for thousands of miles around. A combination of five level-5 elemental manses, a sixth with a Celestial aspect, and a number of high-level artifacts linked together into a single level-N/A Artifact-Manse, Factory Cathedrals allow semi-automated crafting, reduce crafting intervals, grant multiple automatic successes, allow multiple simultaneous projects and (if properly maintained) invalidate the need for one exotic ingredient from all projects , the hymns of its Refinery Organ serving as a unifying element that permits true mass-production without any need for crystallized schadenfreude or whatever other paradoxes the local occultist has pulled from the depths of the Wyld.
GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP (teamwork bonuses)
It is a rare craftsman who sets out to work without an assistant of some kind, whether a duo of bumbling apprentices, a hunchbacked mutant with a lisp, a workforce of summoned demons, or a set of carefully-programmed artisan-automatons. These assistants grant bonuses in a similar fashion to limited teamwork bonuses (Exalted, pg125). Any character with at least one dot of Craft can aid a crafter in their roll, requiring that they be present throughout the relevant interval. Each character who helps the crafter in this fashion contributes one additional die to the Craft roll. If the assistant in question has high enough Ability ratings to actually attempt to craft the item himself, he instead adds two dice. Some characters (notably Terrestrials of the Earth Aspect, but also a number of spirits and automatons, including powerful artisan demons such as Alveua or the aide-drones of First Age workshops) can add further bonuses when aiding another crafter, but this requires specialized magic.
Too many chefs can spoil a broth; the maximum number of characters that can effectively aid a given roll in this way is equal to the crafting character’s Craft rating (even if he is using another ability, thanks to using an esoteric craft). Further characters past this maximum have no effect. Dice gained in this way do not count toward die caps, and do not conflict in any way with dice or successes added by a tool or workshop.
BEST LAID PLANS (complete existing plans)
One of the most valuable tools for a crafter, however, is proof of concept; complete existing plans. Complete existing plans can come in many forms, including complete schematics dating back to the Shogunate, or a delicately folded origami model of the completed product, or a memory crystal, or a cryptic poem with suspicious doodling in the margins, or a recollection from a past life, or a simply a familiarity with the item to be crafted (upon successfully crafting an example of a given item, a character is automatically considered to have obtained complete existing plans of it for any future attempts).
A character can purchase complete existing plans for mundane items, availability and plausibility allowing (a secret design or completely original one obviously cannot be purchased), at a Resources cost equal to the raw materials necessary to construct it, to a minimum of one. Complete existing plans for artifacts are even rarer, and, even if a character has the Contacts or Influence necessary to get his hands on them, have a Resources cost equal to (artifact rating + 2). If this would take the Resources cost of the plans past five, they cannot simply be bought, but must be obtained through other means.
A character with access to a functional example of an item can deduce the materials and techniques used to create it, producing their own complete existing plans. Doing so requires a dramatic action equal to the length of one Crafting interval for that item, which the character spends testing and partially dismantling the item in question, culminating in an ([Intelligence or Perception] + Craft) roll at a difficulty equal to the (Resources value) or (Artifact rating +2) of the item in question. A character can only analyze an item in this way if all the abilities necessary to create item exceed their minimum ratings by at least one dot.
A crafter with access to complete existing plans for an item reduces the difficulty of the Craft roll to create it by one. Note that, for mundane items, this does not improve the crafter’s chances of unexpectedly creating something superior; the margin for accidentally creating an item of higher quality is still measured from the normal difficulty of the roll. In addition, a crafter with complete existing plans can choose to eliminate Intelligence from the selection of (Dexterity, Intelligence or Perception), leaving only (Dexterity or Perception) to cap each other, as he engages in pure “monkey-see, monkey-do” parroting of what exists in the plans. Doing so, however, removes any chance of producing an item of higher quality than expected.
This increased reliability comes with a minor downside, however. The complete existing plans for any artifact must include the details of the exotic ingredients included in its creation. The bonuses for the complete existing plans only apply if the craftsman uses the same exotic ingredients (with only a small amount of leeway with regard to stunts) in the creation of his own version of this artifact. While this is not a problem for most level-one artifacts, which can just use one of the magical materials as their sole exotic ingredient, the Solar use of reproducible Wyld-drawn ingredients resulted in nothing but frustration for the Shogunate that succeeded them, who found the plans for the greater wonders of the age to be utterly unusable without the aid of beings capable of pulling impossibilities from the edges of Creation.
SUFFICIENTLY ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY (artifact ratings)
Artifacts, as with all Backgrounds, have a rating that ranges from one to five dots, with a N/A rating reserved for those artifacts that are beyond the normal scale. An artifact’s rating does not represent its rarity, its potential for growth, the complexity of its design, or any other such concerns; it purely measures power. One level-two artifact is approximately as powerful as any other level-two artifact, though their purposes and methods of use may differ. Ordinarily, an Artifact rating represents a single, distinct artifact (regardless of how many physical objects that single artifact may be split across, as with hearthstone bracers), but certain artifacts can form pairs or sets that are covered by a single rating; a common example is a pair of short daiklaves.
- Level-One artifacts are the weakest of their kind, but are nevertheless useful items that surpass even the most Transcendent of mundane counterparts. In a region that lacks anything but mundane items, one of these artifacts would be a thing sought after by kings and heroes, an item of obvious magical power. Common level-one artifacts include magical utility items (such as wind cords or hearthstone amulets), small magical weapons (such as short daiklaves or smashfists), light magical armour, and magical versions of various tools (such as collars of cleansing light or silver brushes).
- Level-Two artifacts are more powerful than level-one artifacts, and all but the most subtle of them would strike a mortal dumb with awe upon being put to use. This level of artifact is the most powerful kind that can be mass-produced without direct Celestial intervention, and even then doing so requires access to a true Factory Cathedral. Common level-two artifacts include more potent items of magical utility (such as hearthstone bracers or ghost-summoning whistles), and powerful magical tools (such as heart-song instruments or jade saddles), as well as most basic artifact vehicles. Medium magical weaponry (such as daiklaves or powerbows) and medium magical armour, as well as light weapons and armour with additional abilities can also be found at this level. This is also the lowest level at which a “perfect” effect can be found, such as a goblet that perfectly negates poison rather than just notably reducing its Toxicity.
- Level-Three artifacts are the most powerful artifacts that can be made by most beings below Elder Essence; even Solars and their twisted cousins require specialised Charms to reach past this level before their first century. Such artifacts cannot be mass-produced without the direct and semi-regular intervention of a Celestial. Common level-three artifacts include heavy magical weaponry (such as grand daiklaves and essence cannons) and heavy magical armour, as well as medium and light armaments with increasingly potent and broad additional powers. Truly exotic and awesome magical tools or utility items can be found at this level, along with heavier artifact vehicles.
- Level-Four and Five artifacts are a full cut above the rest; they no longer shake kingdoms, they shake worlds. Where a level-one or two artifact might be coveted by a private collector, and a level-three artifact might win a war, wars themselves are fought over level-four and five artifacts.
- Level-N/A artifacts are those that exist beyond the five-tier power scale. They cannot be purchased with Background dots and xp alone, and are discussed below, in “And Then There Are Wonders”.
Note that the guidelines given above are extremely general. More specific ones can be found in Oadenol’s Codex, as well as a number of homebrew revisions dealing specifically with Artifact ratings and/or generating artifact effects.
Increasing an artifact’s rating is not purely about increasing its traits. A level-five daiklave should not have significantly superior numerical traits to a level-two daiklave; those additional levels should be earned through additional powers, suited to its purpose, background, and exotic ingredients.
All artifacts are supernaturally tough, reinforced by the universe itself, their very existence a prayer to their own small gods, bound together as much by magical potency as their own hardy construction. It is impossible to even significantly modify an artifact without the use of Essence, and they cannot be destroyed without the use of Charms, Sorcery, or other suitably powerful magic designed to damage artifacts. Exceptions to these rules exist, as noted in the relevant entries; artifacts that are made fragile by their very nature, or those that have a specific Flaw of Invulnerability, or those that are indestructible even by magic, worked directly into the fabric of existence. By default, all level-N/A artifacts are of the latter kind.
Incidentally, the artifact traits found in various books are generally of two types; broad templates (such as Daiklaves and Heart-Song Instruments) and specific, named artifacts, with a stated history and appearance (such as Black Depths Foretold, or Heranneun, the Wheel of Silver Blades). While the former are obviously available to any character that can make or find them, the latter’s traits can be used on other artifacts without needing to adhere to the flavour of the original; the statistics for Black Depths Foretold fit equally well for any spirit-slaying dagger, for example.
Of course, all artifacts are unique to an extent; the power inherent in the magical materials and Factory Cathedrals are the only things that allow level-one and two artifacts to be mass-produced without direct Celestial intervention, and even the artifacts produced by such endeavours have their own identities, formed by the pride and magical heft of its small god. Such uniqueness is vital to the power of any artifact; make a single blade, and it is the best weapon of its kind. Make a thousand like it, and it is simply baseline! More than one Dragon-blood supervisor of a Factory Cathedral workline noted that each daiklave that was produced there seemed to work to achieve its own identity, whether in the form of a unique balance, a specific manner of catching the light, an altered tracery along the blade, an etched nameplate, or some other, stranger distinction. Indeed, attempts to cut corners in the operation of such facilities often resulted in increased deviancy, far beyond that which could be expected from lowered standards, as though caused by minor, sullen rebellion amongst the divinities within each product. Such “mutations” in the artifact’s design were not always negative, and more than one surviving wonder of the Second Age was considered a bizarre failure by its First Age creators. Artifacts can be mass-produced, but they are never truly homogenous; no more than the Terrestrial Exalted are with their own potentially limitless numbers, in any case.
AND THEN THERE ARE WONDERS (artifact n/a)
The peak of the usable Artifact scale is Artifact 5. But there are objects of power that exist beyond that, which cannot be quantified through ordinary Backgrounds. These are level-N/A artifacts, and their very existence makes worlds tremble. Such artifacts are split into two varieties.
The first variety of level-N/A artifact is one that could simply be called “level-6”. These are objects that, though awesomely powerful and the product of decades (even with the greatest Crafting speed and productivity-boosting Charms available to the First Age), are not actually any more unique than a “standard” artifact. This level includes the Kireeki-class Assault Skyremes, some of the most powerful First Age Warstriders, and true Factory Cathedrals. Magitech is the most common vector for this type of artifact, as they are formed of an arbitrary number of other artifacts of lower levels, a trait well- suited to the construction of magitech; the stabilizing fins of a Kireeki can serve as grand daiklaves in their own right, for example.
However, there are wonders and then there are wonders. The second variety of level-N/A artifact are those often referred to as “true wonders”. These are truly unique items of power, singular in the extreme, all but plot devices, with power surpassing anything reasonable. There will never – there can never – be another Wedding Band of the Scarlet Bride, another Scattered Petals of the Thousand-Toothed Blossom, or another Elemental Pole of Water. Certainly, artifacts with similar effects might be produced (there has yet to be a Six-Metal Shrike, after all), but the circumstances will never be right to produce another exact copy of these things. The time, the place, the ingredients, the crafter, the method, the alignment of the stars, the colour of the wind; even the Wyld itself bends around these wonders, which are as immutable as the Primordials themselves, preventing mere alterations of the shinma from allowing their recreation. Such creations often bear some kind of cost in exchange for their power; consider the fates of the last three fools to exploit the Eye of Autochthon. Whether this cost is relevant to a given user depends on their goals and morality, of course, and cannot be circumvented during the artifact’s creation; at some point in the crafting, the artifact is already formed, just waiting for physical form to be granted to its transcendent ideal. To limit it (or indeed, improve it) would be to make it less than a true wonder, and is therefore impossible.
It was and remains a matter of some debate amongst the Exalted as to whether or not each batch of Celestial Exaltations belonged in the first category or the second. As is the nature of the Exalted, those who desire to replicate the creation of the Exalted believe it to be possible, while those who do not give it little thought.
AND EVERYTHING NICE (exotic ingredients)
Crafting any artifact requires a number of special materials equal to its artifact rating; these are called exotic ingredients (a wide variety of examples can be found in Oadenol’s Codex). Note that each exotic ingredient used to create a single artifact must be distinct; a No Moon who plucks out both of the Hunjana’s eyes may use either one as an exotic ingredient, but cannot use both as exotic ingredients in the same artifact. Similarly, an Earth Caste cannot create a level-two artifact by using refined Jade and more refined Jade. The only real restriction on what an exotic ingredient can be (beyond the need for it to be impressive, and, well, exotic) is that it cannot be an item that can be mass-produced. The sole exceptions to this rule are the magical materials, as detailed in “Ji, Peng, Lu, Zhou, and Beyond”, below.
Exotic ingredients come in many forms, and can be found in an equally diverse range of ways. The first and most obvious is simply to make like a magpie. Any crafter worth her salt knows to conserve and gather materials whenever possible; upon slaying a powerful behemoth, she might tan its hide (behemoth leather), pluck out its eyes, remove whichever of its claws are intact, retrieve its thighbones, and dip its teeth in gold. Any and all of those are acceptable exotic ingredients, although a Storyteller might well decide that more than one tooth (or bone, or eye) is necessary to qualify as a single usable ingredient. Less organic (and gory) examples include the broken mechanisms of First Age treasures, scraps of ancient sutras, the hair of a powerful elemental, the shredded remains of raksha glamour, or an urn containing the ashes of an ancient dragon king, all of which are items that any adventuring Exalt should be able to come across in the course of their travels and crusades. If nothing else, a more sedentary Exalt can bribe her Circlemates to grab such things for her while they adventure.
A less mundane method of acquiring exotic ingredients (if such a thing exists) comes with Charms. Solars have access to Wyld Shaping Technique and its upgrades, allowing them to pull impossible wonders directly from the Wyld, in the form of caramelized hopes, bottled snake legs, or voices-stewed-in-electrolyte. These exotic ingredients are perfectly functional for use with artifacts, and do not count as mass-produced, as each one is unique, if nonsensical. Note, however, that over-reliance on them can lead to increased raksha activity, and can make such Charms indispensible to the overall infrastructure built by that Solar; a fact the Shogunate was forced to deal with in adapting to a world without Solars.
Both Abyssals and Green Sun Princes have similar Charms to their Solar cousins, while Lunars can use their ability to plumb the Wyld to similar, if lesser effect. Alternately, at higher Essence, a Lunar can turn parts of her own body into exotic ingredients; it is hard to run out of behemoth bones when one can transform into a behemoth and regrow limbs. Living in Yu-Shan itself, Sidereals should have little trouble finding exotic ingredients, and at least one martial art has the ability to produce exotic ingredients in appropriate circumstances. Even the Terrestrial Exalted can eventually gain the ability to occasionally crystallize elemental cores out of their anima that can be used as exotic ingredients.
Another method of acquiring exotic ingredients is to use existing artifacts. Any artifact, once destroyed (an extremely difficult task, as noted above) can be scavenged for parts, generally yielding a single exotic ingredient (if the only exotic ingredient was a magical material, all that can be retrieved is a suitable amount of the material in question). Alternately, if a crafter simply wishes to upgrade an artifact with new powers that would raise it to a higher rating, that artifact can be treated as a number of exotic ingredients equal to its artifact rating for the purposes of creating the new artifact; obviously doing so “consumes” the upgraded artifact in place of its new version. Even if the “upgraded” artifact is of the same rating, with different powers rather than additional ones, such a project still requires one exotic ingredient besides those granted by the original artifact. Incidentally, both of these varieties of exotic ingredients are incompatible with the “free” exotic ingredient offered by Cathedral Factories; the prayers and hymns of its Refinery Organ cannot reach the recovering small god of such an item.
The final variety of exotic ingredients are the magical materials, unique in their ability to be mass-produced while still acting as exotic ingredients. Magical materials are discussed in greater detail below.
JI, PENG, LU, ZHOU AND BEYOND (magical materials)
In the midst of the Primordial War, Four Magical Materials were recognised, one for each variety of Exalt; Orichalcum, Moonsilver, Starmetal, and Jade. As the First Age progressed, the properties of Soulsteel were explored in greater depth, and it was “officially” added to the list after much debate. Adamant was moved on and off the list multiple times, more out of political wrangling than any particular lack of merit on its part; the 73rd Motion for Recognition of the Sixth Magical Material was being debated on the very day of the Usurpation, in fact.
Ultimately, it matters little what labels were applied by the Solar Deliberative; there are materials, present in Creation and beyond, that have powers inherent to their very makeup, power that cannot be diminished by mere replication. For this reason, and their inherent connection to the Exalted that craft so many of the artifact that populate the world, these materials are much-desired for use in artifact construction.
Magical materials can be used as exotic ingredients – as a single exotic ingredient, in fact, regardless of the quantities or varieties involved. Even a level-three daiklave comprised of six different types of magical material still requires a further two exotic ingredients. Magical materials can also be used in projects without counting as exotic ingredients; since they all have a Resources cost, they can be used to cover the raw materials of a given project. A crafter need not include any magical materials in order to have their work qualify as an artifact. Each magical material is outlined below, but more detail on specifics can be found in Oadenol’s Codex, along with the thaumaturgical rituals required to create them from their raw materials.
Jade is the most common magical material, and the one that requires the least work to refine to a usable state from its raw, mined form, found in areas of great elemental power. It has a multitude of uses, ranging from alloys to powdered sorcerous reagents to pure carving material. Enough Jade to act as a single exotic ingredient costs Resources 4. Characters whose Essence has a pronounced elemental aspect add one free die to any dice pool to craft Jade, and find it easier to attune to items made from it.
All Jade needs to be refined from its raw quality to be of any use, though no thaumaturgical rituals are required to do so, unlike its fellow First Age magical materials. If the refiner wishes, however, he may purify it further with thaumaturgy, producing Refined (Colour) Jade, a variety more strictly aspected toward a single element. Enough Refined (Colour) Jade to act as a single exotic ingredient costs Resources 4. Characters whose Essence has a pronounced elemental aspect of the appropriate type (or Earth aspect) add one free die to any dice pool to craft Refined (Colour) Jade. Each type of Refined (Colour) Jade attunes more easily to characters with Essence of the appropriate elemental aspect, and attunes to characters with an inappropriate elemental aspect as though it were made from a mixed magical material.
Orichalcum was common in the First Age only because of the sheer demand for it; in the Age of Sorrows it is far rarer, not least because of the efforts of the Bronze Faction. It requires pure gold, refined through thaumaturgical ritual involving fresh magma, focused sunlight, and prayers. Enough Orichalcum to act as a single exotic ingredient costs Resources 5. Characters whose Essence has a pronounced Solar aspect add one free die to any dice pool to craft Orichalcum, and find it easier to attune to items made from it.
Moonsilver is produced with relative ease by most Lunars, since it needs fewer specialized tools to refine than the other magical materials, requiring only a thaumaturgical ritual using quicksilver (to stabilize) or silver (to destabilize), performed by the full light of the moon or on the edges of the Wyld. Enough Moonsilver to act as a single exotic ingredient costs Resources 5. Characters whose Essence has a pronounced Lunar aspect add one free die to any dice pool to craft Moonsilver, and find it easier to attune to items made from it.
Starmetal is, as with many aspects of their Exaltation’s power, a frustrating issue for many Sidereals, thanks to its sheer unpredictable scarcity. It can be produced through a fairly standard thaumaturgical refining ritual, true, albeit one accompanied by any manner of enforced mishaps, but the raw materials for such a ritual can only be harvested from fallen stars, cast from the sky at the culmination of one destiny or another, with the only significant amounts being produced by greater destinies; the recycled debris of the Loom of Fate’s heavenly display. Sidereals are strictly forbidden from cutting off destinies early in order to better track the arc of a fallen star, though in times of scarcity this can change to “strictly forbidden”. Enough Starmetal to act as a single exotic ingredient costs Resources 5. Characters whose Essence has a pronounced Sidereal aspect add one free die to any dice pool to craft Starmetal, and find it easier to attune to items made from it.
Soulsteel is a black and twisted magical material, first produced from an act of Primordial genocide, and later refined by the cruelties of the First Age. In this, its nature is well-suited to that of its native Exalts. White soulsteel is far rarer, occurring only when the original refiner channels Compassion to aid his thaumaturgy; given that this ritual involves torturing ghosts until they accept endless torment within the metal, this occurs only in the rarest of circumstances, or at the hands of the most alien of beings. Enough Soulsteel to act as a single exotic ingredient costs Resources 5. Characters whose Essence has a pronounced Abyssal aspect add one free die to any dice pool to craft Soulsteel, and find it easier to attune to items made from it.
Adamant is a superhard crystalline magical material, refined from naturally-occuring raw “rods” (or, more commonly in Creation, a large quantity of mundane diamonds) with a thaumaturgical ritual involving superheated chemical baths and the deliberate channelling of Essence. This material is very rare (even for a magical material) in Creation, but less so in Autochthonia (as such, its statistics and the thaumaturgical ritual to refine it can be found in Manual of Exalted Power: Alchemicals). It is not that Creation lacks the raw resources to produce it, but rather that no Exalt types exist who attune with it naturally, so it is mostly found as a curiosity or a structural necessity. Enough Adamant to act as a single exotic ingredient costs Resources 5.
Other materials exist that, while lacking the inherent metaphysical weight of those detailed above, are still powerful enough to act as mass-produced exotic ingredients; examples include the caustic black lead of Malfeas, or the mystically-hardened ironwood. Enough of one of these pseudo-magical materials to act as a single exotic ingredient costs no less than Resources 4. However, they resonate with no particular Exalt type. In addition to such pseudo-magical materials, it is entirely possible that another “true” magical material might yet exist, undiscovered or uncreated. Creating one would, however, be an epic endeavour.
An artifact made with more than one magical material can choose a single magical material as its “dominant” type, with the majority of its form (or at least its vital mechanisms) taken up by that material. It is treated as an artifact made entirely of that material in all respects, including crafting and attunement; the additional magical materials are purely flavour. Alternately, the artifact may be truly mixed; it can grant the magical material bonuses of either of its composite materials (though not multiple bonuses at once), and offers a reduced attunement rate to all relevant types of appropriate Essence-users, though this reduction is half-again lower than it would be for a “pure” artifact.
TOIL AND TROUBLE (using exotic ingredients)
Once exotic ingredients have been gathered, they must be incorporated into the crafting process. It is up to the player how this is done, and a Storyteller might choose to require certain specific thematic types of exotic ingredients for artifacts with corresponding powers, or else ask players to stunt any use of seemingly counter-intuitive exotic ingredients.
In some cases, this is simple; the use of orichalcum in an orichalcum daiklave is obvious. In others, it might require some more thought; leather tanned from the skin of a Second Circle Demon can be used to create a sheathe, or a wrap for the hilt, and holy oil blessed by Countless Purple Clouds can be used to polish the almost-complete weapon into perfection, or quench its heat fresh from the fire. Other exotic items, especially those pulled directly from the Wyld, may be less intuitive in their use; how exactly does one incorporate “sorrow in the form of a human fingernail” or “distilled ennui” into a blade?
One solution is to incorporate it directly into the physical crafting process, working it directly into the main material of the artifact. This often leaves some physical mark on the material in question, such as an odd sheen, distinctive growths, or a strange pattern in the folds of a magical material. Another path, and one that can be taken with more physical exotic ingredients, is simply to sacrifice it, using it as fuel for a forge or simply destroying it and casting the remains over the cooling weapon; the magical power of this sacrifice empowers the small god of the item, granting it some of the aspect of the sacrificed ingredient; incidentally, this is how the prayers of a Factory Cathedral are worked into the items it produces.
Obviously, the exotic ingredients used in a created artifact have some effect on its form and function. The effects of magical materials are obvious, as they each have a distinct set of powers and appropriate thematics, similar to the thematic guidelines given for demesnes and manses of corresponding aspects; an artifact made of soulsteel is unlikely to have a strictly pleasant function, for example. Subtypes of magical material can also have separate effects; red jade works well with artifacts intended to manipulate fire or be used with an Ability aspected toward that element, while white soulsteel is distinct from ordinary soulsteel, moonsilver can have different properties depending on whether it was formed through the Wyld or the light of the full moon, and the flavour of the destiny that formed a hunk of raw starmetal can have an effect on its appearance or even functions; the starmetal that makes up the blood-red spear of Kujilann was formed by the massacre at Jumon Bridge that cut off so many destinies, while one pallid starmetal sanxian passed down through the Cerulean Lute of Harmony was forged from seven small stars, each of which fell from the sky as a God of the Fifth Rank went through the seven stages of his great romance.
Other exotic ingredients also leave their mark; a jade daiklave made with bottled lightning might crackle with static as it cuts through the air, or have a stylised lightning bolt along its blade, or a transparent hilt with the trapped electricity dancing within. On the other hand, one made with powdered joy might be speckled with points of contrasting colour, or sound as though it is giggling when unsheathed, or fill its wielder with a sense of happiness when swung. Therefore using something like powdered joy in an artifact intended as a weapon tends to produce unsettling cosmetic results, in the same way that using the fingerbones of an Abyssal in jewellery is unlikely to create benign-seeming decorations.
Ultimately, it should be understood that exotic ingredients are essentially crystallized stunts. Magic exists to fulfill or bypass the need for them, just as magic exists to automatically upgrade stunts. Guidelines exist for what they should be like, but if the Storyteller thinks an ingredient is cool or appropriate enough to count as exotic, it can be used as such, just as a cool enough stunt can bypass the need to interact with a Motivation or the environment. Exotic ingredients, like stunts, must be interesting. This is the reason for the ban on mass-produced exotic ingredients; the same stunt repeated over and over will become boring, and the same goes for repeated exotic ingredients. With a good enough stunt, a mundane blade of grass might qualify as an exotic ingredient, while even the coolest ingredients ever conceived can be run into the dirt if overused.
SELF MADE LEGENDS (spontaneous artifacts)
Grigori swept the axe down, and watched without expression as hot blood spattered across his arms, in perfect time with a cut-off shriek of pain and fright. The gore steamed in the cold, rising up from the sucking wound in the chest of the fallen man before him. The victim’s hair was tied into greasy braids, so the axeman had to lean down and push one knot aside to confirm – Yes. Just above the ear was a tattoo in glistening green ink, a marker in the shape of a hand, its index and middle fingers crossed.
The first real motion in days came to the Grigori’s face, as he exhaled, a heavy breath of equal parts relief and resignation. At last, it was over. The last of the Green Oath Cult, dead. Vengeance didn’t feel good; but he hadn’t particularly expected it to. More than anything, he felt empty – but it was a good empty, the void left by closure.
Planting the head of his axe to the ground, Grigori tugged a rough workman’s cloth from his belt, and wiped off his hands, before turning to the axe-blade; it was a damn fine axe, one designed as a weapon rather than a tool, and if his grandfather was to have been trusted, it had been passed down through their family since the days of the Shogunate. Regardless of whether the old man had been simply telling stories or not, the axe deserved good treatment.
Idly wiping the blade clean, Grigori glanced down at it and frowned. He wiped it again. Then again, harder this time, pressing into the steel. One more time, and his hand slipped, leaving a gash in his palm and causing him to curse into the freezing air.
Scowling, he raised the axe’s head to eye level and considered it. It was clean, and yet still red. Completely red, the watery crimson of pooled blood. Replacing it on his belt, the axeman absently tied his cloth into a makeshift bandage about his hand. There was supposed to be a travelling thaumaturge over in Fershift; perhaps he would know what this was about…
Ordinarily, an artifact is the result of long planning (or time-tested design templates), combined with powerful and exotic materials and the skill of a master craftsman.
Sometimes, however, they just happen.
As described in “And Everything Nice” and “Works of Glory”, above, an artifact requires a number of exotic ingredients equal to its artifact rating. If a transcendent item garners enough of a history and acquires sufficient metaphysical momentum, its small god may transcend its mundane origins, transforming the item (at a suitably dramatic moment) into a level-one artifact of the same type. Examples of such weapons might include the transcendent chisel used to destroy five elemental hearthstones, or a transcendent axe used to cut down every one of the killers of an Exalt’s father, or the transcendent jewellery left buried at the heart of a Sidereal demesne for over a decade, or the transcendent sword blessed by a god of the fifth rank, or a transcendent pair of shoes that have walked all the way to an Elemental Pole; in effect, the point at which a transcendent quality item would also function as an exotic ingredient.
This transformation is never predictable, depending entirely upon the good will of the Storyteller and the force of a good narrative; as such, it cannot and does not replace the ability to actually craft; simply reforging a weapon into an artifact is vastly more reliable and efficient than using that mundane blade to complete the equivalent of an epic Motivation. Experience must still be paid for the resultant artifact; it is effectively a more personal alternative to finding an magical item in a tomb or a private market, and just as subject to the vagaries of chance and Storyteller whim. The powers of such artifacts must relate in some way to the incident that created them. Artifacts created in this way cannot generally rise above level-one without actually being recrafted (although a Storyteller may choose to make an exception).
Incidentally, here is a good place to remind players that there should be no shame in having a weapon recrafted, no sense of abandoning an old story for pure mechanical gain. A reforged sword is still the same weapon as it was before, but its edge is sharper and its small god revitalized (albeit likely changed for the worse, in the case of reforgings incorporating soulsteel or helltech).
“The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned [from Crete] had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their place, insomuch that this ship became a standing example among the philosophers, for the logical question of things that grow; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same.”
A KIND OF MAGIC (necessary charm errata)
Listed below are the changes made to existing Craft Charms for each Exalt type to allow them to function with the revised system, as well as a few new ones. Lunars and Sidereals are not listed, pending the errata of both. Charms not mentioned here are assumed to be unchanged.
Revised and New Solar & Abyssal Craft Charms
CRAFTSMAN NEEDS NO TOOLS
Cost: 5m (+1wp); Mins: Craft 4, Essence 2; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK, Mirror (Frenzied Forge Within)
Duration: One Crafting Interval
Prerequisite Charms: Any Craft Excellency
The Chosen bring harmony to Creation through their works. This Charm supplements a Craft action, removing any need for tools or workshops. The Solar can paint without a paintbrush, fry without a pan, forge without a hammer, and create artifacts without a workshop. How he accomplishes this is up to his player; some Solars heat metal with the light of the sun and beat it into shape with their bare hands, while others use improvised tools that seem, at the instant of use, to become perfectly usable, and still others chant the names of the tools they would ordinarily require while working the materials with their bare hands (this particular permutation is sometimes referred to as Words-as-Workshop Method). The Solar suffers no penalties for crafting in this fashion. However, he still requires sufficient and appropriate raw materials. The effects of this Charm last for one crafting interval, and fade once the Solar completes his work, postpones it, or finishes that particular interval.
A Solar with Essence 3+ may increase the cost of this Charm by one point of temporary Willpower, turning himself into a perfect embodiment of economy of effort. A Craft action enhanced in this way has the length of its intervals reduced by one degree of time (from years to seasons to months to weeks to days to hours to minutes to five seconds). However, the philosophy that a craftsman needs no tools runs true; a Craft action enhanced in this way cannot have the length of its intervals reduced any further by non-Solar Charms.
At Craft 5+, Essence 4+, this Charm’s project-hastening function automatically upgrades, reducing the length of an interval by two degrees of time, rather than just one.
At Craft 6+, Essence 6+, the project-hastening function upgrades again, reducing the length of the interval by three degrees of time for mundane projects, or by two degrees for artifacts.
A second purchase of this Charm at any point upgrades its basic tool-eliminating function, allowing the Solar to ignore the need for (and penalties inflicted by a lack of) assistants when crafting structures. This does not grant the dice that would be gained by an actual pooling of effort.
Example: Jasara, an Essence 3 Solar, uses this Charm to enhance a Craft action to create a basic straight sword, costing Resources 2. Ordinarily, this would take two weeks, but by paying an additional point of Willpower when activating this Charm, the crafting interval is reduced to two days. At Essence 4+, the length of the interval is reduced to two hours, while at Essence 6+, Jasara can potentially craft a basic straight sword in just two minutes.
FRENZIED FORGE WITHIN
Cost: 5m (+1wp); Mins: Craft 4, Essence 2; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK, Mirror (Craftsman Needs No Tools)
Duration: One Crafting Interval
Prerequisite Charms: Any Craft Excellency
The deathknights march forth into Creation at the back of an army forged by their own hands. This Charm supplements a Craft action, removing any need for tools or workshops. The Abyssal can paint without a paintbrush, fry without a pan, forge without a hammer, and create artifacts without a workshop. How he accomplishes this is up to his player; some Abyssals warp metal with the heat of their own hatred and beat it into shape with their bare hands, while others use improvised tools that seem, at the instant of use, to become grave goods of usable quality. The Abyssal suffers no penalties for crafting in this fashion. However, he still requires sufficient and appropriate raw materials. The effects of this Charm last for one crafting interval, and fade once the Abyssal completes his work, postpones it, or finishes that particular interval.
Just like its Solar Mirror, this Charm can also be used to hasten Craft projects. However, it does so much more efficiently when used to hasten the creation of destructive items. For the purposes of this Charm, a destructive item is defined as anything with a function that is overtly harmful; weapons always qualify, as does armour with integrated weapons, poisons, explosives, ammunition, etc. Most tools do not qualify, save for those that have specialties intended to aid the creation of further destructive items. Tools or armour that lack immediately destructive aspects, but are intended to make their user into more effective killers (for instance, armour made for an army bent on massacre, or silenced shoes for an assassin) also qualify. The Storyteller remains final arbiter of what qualifies as a destructive item, using the simple distinction that the Abyssal Exalted exist to destroy the world, not add to its wonders.
An Abyssal with Essence 3+ may increase the cost of this Charm by one point of temporary Willpower, turning himself into a transcendent avatar of destructive creation. Provided the enhanced Craft action is being used to create or repair a destructive item, it has the length of its intervals reduced by one degree of time (from years to seasons to months to weeks to days to hours to minutes to five seconds).
If the item in question is mundane, the interval is instead reduced by two degrees. If the item in question is an Artifact, its effective rating is halved (rounded up) for the purposes of determining the length of its intervals. However, the forge within is as exclusive as it is terrible; a Craft action enhanced in this way cannot have the length of its intervals reduced any further by non-Abyssal Charms.
At Craft 5+, Essence 4+, this Charm’s project-hastening function automatically upgrades, reducing the length of a mundane interval by three degrees of time, rather than just two. Artifacts still have their effective rating halved, but their intervals are now reduced by two degrees of time, rather than one.
At Craft 6+, Essence 6+, the project-hastening function upgrades again, reducing the length of the interval by three degrees of time for mundane projects, or by two degrees for artifacts. Both types of projects halve their effective Resources or Artifact ratings for the purposes of determining the length of their intervals.
In addition, at this level an Abyssal may use the project-hastening function to speed up a non-destructive Craft project of any kind, reducing its intervals by one degree of time.
A second purchase of this Charm at any point upgrades its basic tool-eliminating function, allowing the Abyssal to ignore the need for (and penalties inflicted by a lack of) assistants when crafting structures.This does not grant the dice that would be gained by an actual pooling of effort.
Example: The Seven-Degreed Physician, an Essence 3 Abyssal, uses this Charm to enhance a Craft action to create a basic straight sword, costing Resources 2. Ordinarily, this would take two weeks, but by paying an additional point of Willpower when activating this Charm, the crafting interval is reduced to two hours. At Essence 4+, the length of the interval is reduced to two minutes, while at Essence 6+, the deathknight can potentially craft a basic straight sword in just one minute. Of course, until Essence 6+ this Charm cannot be used to enhance the creation of a non-destructive item.
Cost: — ; Mins: Craft 5, Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: Craftsman Needs No Tools
Creation needs fixing, and no task of repair is beyond the Lawgivers. This Charm permanently enhances its prerequisite, removing the Willpower surcharge necessary to speed a Crafting action, if the action in question is being used to repair an existing object rather than create a new one. In addition, if the repairs would require non-magical raw materials of any kind to complete, the Solar reduces the Resources cost of those materials by one, to a minimum of zero, as he spreads the item thin and draws forth potential for revitalisation, whispering encouragement to the item’s small god. Objects may be repaired in this way that could never be fixed through mundane means; a burnt letter can be reconstituted from its ashes, while a vase ground into dust can be sculpted back into shape. Using this Charm to perform impossible repairs adds the Obvious keyword, and increases the difficulty of repairs by three.
Upon successfully repairing an object in this way, the Solar may choose to remove any evidence that it was ever damaged, as cracks seamlessly vanish, dents are buffered out, and rusted joints clean themselves. No examination can ever reveal the previous damage. Even the item’s small god forgets about its previous deplorable state, while any material intelligence inhabiting the repaired item will lose any record of the repaired damages.
PEERLESS PARAGON OF (CRAFT)
Cost: — ; Mins: Craft 4, Essence 2; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Mirror (Immortal Exemplar of [Craft])
Prerequisite Charms: Any Craft Excellency
A Lawgiver who has focused his expertise upon a certain expression of craftsmanship soon finds that his least effort matches and exceeds the most desperate labours of mortal artisans. Upon purchasing this Charm, the Solar selects one variety of elemental Craft that he has access to, and permanently adds (Essence/2) automatic successes to all Craft rolls that he makes within that area of Craft. This Charm can be purchased a further four times, at a reduced cost of 5xp per purchase, with each purchase enhancing a different elemental craft.
At Essence 3+, this Charm automatically upgrades, extending its effects to the esoteric crafts. These crafts do not require separate purchases, but only benefit from the additional successes once the Solar has purchased the versions of Peerless Paragon of (Craft) that correspond to the basic elemental crafts that act as the prerequisites to that esoteric craft. For example, an Essence 3 Solar with both Peerless Paragon of Fire and Peerless Paragon of Air would add two additional successes to his Craft (Magitech) rolls, with no need to purchase an additional version of this Charm.
The Abyssal version of this Charm is called Immortal Exemplar of (Craft), and is identical to its Solar counterpart, except that it has the Avatar (1) Keyword.
HOLISTIC MIRACLE UNDERSTANDING
Cost: — ; Mins: Craft 5, Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Mirror (Inherent Horror Appreciation)
Prerequisite Charms: Durability-Enhancing Technique
The Solar craftsman has progressed beyond applying discrete bits of knowledge and skill—every part of him is an extension of his prowess, and intuitive understanding blossoms from every aspect of the world around him. The Solar gains complete existing plans for any item he makes use of, recorded in his mind, just as though he himself had constructed it. When he climbs into a warstrider, he is able to estimate what prayers accompanied its creation, the temperatures used to forge its armour, and the order in which its parts were assembled (not to mention the exotic ingredients its crafter used). When he fires a bow, he deduces the materials and methods used to create it—and to fletch the arrow it just fired. When he eats a cake, he deduces all the particulars of its recipe. This Charm cannot analyze artifacts with a rating higher than (Essence).
At Essence 4+, this Charm automatically upgrades, enhancing any Craft project the Solar undertakes with the aid of complete existing plans, as he sees what the planned project was, is and will be, golden schematics flashing behind his eyes. Rather than simply reducing the difficulty by one, the plans reduce the difficulty of each roll in the project by (Essence/2), to a minimum of one.
At Essence 5+ this Charm upgrades a second time. As well as reducing the difficulty of Craft rolls by (Essence/2), complete existing plans reduce the total number of successes necessary to create an artifact by (Essence x 2), to a minimum of five.
At Craft 6+, Essence 6+, the Solar can analyze N/A rated wonders, such as the Five-Metal Shrike, Sword of Creation, or the Well of Udr. However, doing so does not provide complete existing plans for that wonder; instead, they grant the Solar a sense of vague but potent inspiration—a clue as to where useful information about or elements of the wonder’s construction might be sought. On all occasions when the Solar Exalted have attempted to use Holistic Miracle Understanding to examine an Exaltation, they have experienced only an encouraging-but-vague sense that the answer rests within themselves.
The Abyssal version of this Charm is called Inherent Horror Appreciation, and is identical to its Solar counterpart, except that Genesis artifacts cannot be analyzed if their rating is higher than (Essence -1), while Necrotech artifacts cannot be analyzed if their rating is higher than (Essence +1).
Cost: — ; Mins: Craft 5, Essence 4; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Mirror (World-Slaying Arsenal Epiphany), Stackable
Prerequisite Charms: Crack-Mending Technique
As the premiere artisans of the Chosen, the Solars can achieve in a mortal lifetime what lesser Exalted require centuries to understand. The Solar reduces by one dot each the minimum Craft, Lore, Medicine and Occult requirements for her to build or repair artifacts and manses, to a minimum requirement of one dot for any Ability normally required for the task. This Charm may be purchased again at Essence 5+.
The Abyssal version of this Charm is called World-Slaying Arsenal Epiphany, and is identical to its Solar counterpart, except that it has the Avatar (3) Keyword, and its prerequisite Charm is Frenzied Forge Within.
SOUL-FORGING FURY no longer exists.
SUPREME ARTISAN’S CONCOCTION
Cost: — ; Mins: Craft 5, Essence 2; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Mirror (Mad Carrion Crafting)
Prerequisite Charms: Craftsman Needs No Tools
This Charm permanently enhances its prerequisite. Any Craft action enhanced by Craftsman Needs No Tools ignores the “appropriate” restriction on raw materials for Craft projects, as the Solar’s obstacle-surmounting Essence determines that a serviceable sword can be made from soup ingredients, and a soup can be made from rockodile. This does not remove or reduce the necessary Resources value of the raw materials, and does not change the type of Craft necessary to create to the item. It also does not change the item’s actual appearance; a cart built using quartz rather than wood will seem to be just as crystalline as its raw materials. A number of the lesser “wonders” of the First Age find their origins in this Charm.
Artifacts benefit from this Charm in the same way as mundane items, and remain as indestructible as if they had been constructed from normal raw materials; at least one Hearthstone Amulet remains in existence that appears to have crafted from a daisy chain. This Charm has no effect on exotic ingredients.
The Abyssal version of this Charm is called Mad Carrion Crafting, and is identical to its Solar counterpart, except that it has the Avatar (2) keyword, and also allows the Abyssal to treat corpses as having a Resources value equal to their Magnitude (if they were alive) for the purposes of being used as raw materials with this Charm.
SOLAR QUALITY ASSURANCE
Cost: — ; Mins: Craft 5, Essence 2; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Mirror (High-Calibre Creation)
Prerequisite Charms: Any Craft Excellency
Sometimes, a Solar will look on the works of his lessers, and cannot help but imagine that they are deliberately pathetic; it all seems so simple to him. Whenever the Solar successfully crafts a mundane item, the item’s quality is increased by one level, from Basic to Fine to Exceptional to Transcendent, as though the Solar had acquired sufficient threshold successes on his Craft roll to make it so, ignoring the increased Resources cost (but not the necessary tools). The maximum quality this Charm can produce is Transcendent, and it has no effect on Improvised items. This increase in quality is optional, but to suppress it (allowing the Solar to create an item of any quality below the highest possible) requires that the Exalt pay one point of temporary Willpower for that scene, as he grits his teeth and focuses on deliberately limiting his own effortless perfection.
At Essence 3+, the mundane items the Solar creates have their quality increased by two levels, rather than one. At Essence 4+, the level of quality is increased by three levels; even the most Basic item produced by the Solar is Transcendent in comparison to the works of lesser mortals.
The Abyssal version of this Charm is called High-Calibre Creation, and is identical to its Solar counterpart, except that the Essence minimums for its upgrades are reduced by one when creating destructive items, and increased by one when creating non-destructive items. In addition, the Abyssal pays no Willpower to suppress his artisan’s impulses, but instead gains a single point of Resonance the first time in a scene that he creates a destructive item of a deliberately lower quality.
Cost: — ; Mins: Craft 5, Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Mirror (Sticks and Stones Armory)
Prerequisite Charms: Solar Quality Assurance
Any fool can create when surrounded by the plans and tools. Improvisation is the true mark of a master. Whenever the Solar spends a Craft action creating an Improvised item, he may increase the length of the interval to create it by one degree of time (generally, this will result in an interval of one minute being increased to an interval of one hour). If he does so, he instead produces a Basic quality item of the same type, worth up to Resources 2. Note that this does not expand the range of Improvised items that the Solar can create; there is no such thing as an improvised firewand, so a Solar cannot create a Basic firewand through this Charm. Items created by this Charm do not benefit from the effects of its prerequisite.
A second purchase of this Charm allows the Solar to use it to create items for which no Improvised equivalent exists, such as most Archery weapons, mechanical tools, or chemicals. This usage requires an appropriate stunt, and obviously requires that the resultant item has a low enough Resources cost to be created through the Charm.
The Abyssal version of this Charm is called Sticks and Stone Armory, and is identical to its Solar counterpart.
INVENTION IMPLIES MASTERY
Cost: 4m; Mins: Craft 5, Essence 3; Type: Reflexive (Step 1)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Stackable, Mirror (Reaper Forges Scythe)
Duration: One scene
Prerequisite Charms: Chaos-Resistance Preparation
Who understands a tool better than the one who built it? No-one; So thought the Empyreal Chaos, at least, and who can argue? Certainly, the Unconquered Sun never raised a hand against him. Upon activating this Charm, the Solar chooses any ability other than Craft. For the rest of the scene, she may calculate the dice caps on rolls involving that ability as though her natural rating in that ability was equal to her Craft rating. The only rolls that may benefit from this effect, however, are those based around items that the Solar has herself used Craft to create. Examples might include Melee rolls made to attack with a sword she has forged, Sail rolls to captain a boat she has built, or Larceny rolls to break into a security system she made herself.
This Charm’s effects do not apply to those rolls that are simply aided by such an item, rather than revolving around it; a social roll will not benefit purely because the Solar wove the beautiful dress she is wearing as a social tool. Note that she still uses the appropriate ability; she cannot use her Craft Excellencies to enhance such rolls.
At Essence 4+, this Charm automatically upgrades, allowing the Solar to outright change her rating in the chosen ability to the same as her Craft rating when making applicable rolls.
The Abyssal version of this Charm is called Reaper Forges Scythe, and is identical to its Solar counterpart, except that its prerequisite is Eternal Embalming Preparation.
Cost: — ; Mins: Craft 5, Essence 4; Type: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: Wonder-Forging Genius
The lesser artisans of Creation may temporarily bask in an understanding of principles they could never have reached without the Lawgiver’s benevolence. When determining how many dice are added by a given assistant, the Solar may increase that assistant’s effective Craft rating by one, grant them access to all areas of Craft he himself has access to, and treat them as benefiting from Wonder-Forging Genius’ reduction of the minimum abilities necessary to build a project. This does not enhance the assistant’s actual abilities, but it may increase the number of dice they contribute to the Solar’s own project.
Revised and New Abyssal Medicine Charms
LIFE-MOCKING ASSEMBLY no longer has the Spectral Keyword.
BONE GRAFT TECHNIQUE
Cost: — ; Mins: Medicine 3, Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Touch, Mirror (Wholeness Restoring Meditation)
Prerequisite Charms: Charnel Chirurgeon Deftness
The Unclean know the frailties of living flesh in more detail than any other; better to strip such weakness out and replace it. Abyssal Exalted with this Charm can cure any Crippling effect, by stripping out the faulty body-part (if it is still attached) and replacing it with dead flesh. This Charm guarantees that any attempt they make to treat such an effect is considered supernatural, provided they have access to enough unliving tissue to supplement the target’s own faulty meats. This tissue need not come from the same species as the target, and need not even come from the same body part as the one being treated. However, despite being functional, it remains as dead as before; a mortal with more undead tissue than living tissue becomes a creature of death and a creature of darkness.
If the Exalt’s player rolls five or more successes on a Medicine roll for the Abyssal to treat an ordinarily incurable Crippling effect, such as limb amputation or Charm-induced paralysis, she can spend five motes and restore the patient, replacing destroyed limbs, etc, with an undead equivalent. As with a normal Crippling effect, this requires that the Abyssal have access to enough unliving tissue to replace the body part in question, and does not require that the tissue come from the same body part as the one being treated.
However, this Charm does not disguise the appearance of the replacement tissue, which can result in unsettling and even Obvious effects, as giblets are re-formed into gore-coloured eyes, stapled-on intestines weave themselves into a functional but grotesque arm, or a skeletal leg is attached to a living body, delicate gears of cartilage spontaneously forming at its joints.
Treating Crippling injuries in this fashion is a dramatic Medicine-based action that takes one hour unless sped by a stunt or Charm; if the Exalt has access to Craft (Necrotech), he may enhance this roll with Craft Charms as though they were Medicine Charms. It takes the patient a full day of convalescence to recover from otherwise permanent damage such as lost limbs or blindness, as they synchronise with their new undead tissue.
As a final benefit, this Charm adds one automatic success to all attempts to apply a Necrotech prosthetic. Note that the operation performed by this Charm lacks much actual technology, and therefore does not benefit.
At Essence 4+, the Abyssal can treat any mutations inflicted by the Wyld as a single Crippling effect for the purposes of this Charm, allowing him to invasively remove them, withering them with his own necrotic Essence before replacing the lost tissue with dead flesh.
IVORY WHIRLWIND RESTORATION
Cost: — (3 or 5m, 1wp); Mins: Medicine 5, Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Obvious, Shaping
Prerequisite Charms: Life-Mocking Assembly, Bone Graft Technique
The Abyssal’s mastery of meat is beyond compare. This Charm permanently enhances Bone Graft Technique, allowing the Abyssal to replace the Touch keyword with the Shaping and Obvious keywords, provided both his target and the dead flesh being used are within (Essence x 50) yards. Used in this manner, the Charm violently rips assorted body parts into the air and pulls their shredded pieces into place, affixing them to the target’s form. The Abyssal works no quicker, but the slurried tornado of gore and bone that surrounds him can accomplish much at the same time, allowing him to perform up to (Essence) such replacements with a single dramatic action, spread across as many valid targets as he wishes.
If the Abyssal wishes, he may pay three motes and one point of temporary Willpower, and take a miscellaneous action in which he concentrates his reconstructive vortex of necrosurgery solely on himself, rolling (Intelligence + Medicine) at a difficulty of 3. If the roll succeeds, then the Abyssal completely heals one Crippling effect afflicting him, assembling a prosthetic “cure” for it just like the one created with Bone Craft Technique. This near-instant necrosurgery is immediately functional, requiring no convalescence.
The Abyssal can increase the cost of this effect by two motes in order to also replace or reform any number of the Abyssal’s existing implants or otherwise undamaged bodyparts, swapping out meat for meat like some unholy semi-organic garage. If this would completely alter the Abyssal’s appearance, it applies an external penalty of (Essence) to any attempts to recognise him as the person he used to look like. This does not aid in impersonation attempts and cannot alter the deathknight’s sex or other core structural aspects of his physiological identity, such as his basic species. Height, weight and apparent age are fair game, allowing deathknights Exalted as children to overcome their inherent stasis when they feel they have outgrown their current body. The Appearance Attribute may be increased with appropriate alterations as a Training effect, producing perfectly preserved faces or gorgeous bone-masques. Alternately, the Abyssal may decrease his Appearance attribute, but doing so does not refund any experience; instead, his player should record the maximum Appearance rating he has paid for, and is free to alter his Appearance rating to any level equal to or below that, to a minimum of Appearance 0.
At Essence 4+, this Charm also upgrades Charnel Chirurgeon Deftness, allowing the Abyssal to pay an additional point of Willpower when activating that Charm to replace the Touch keyword with the Shaping keyword, allowing him to heal corpses or necrotech constructs within (Essence x 50) yards, provided sufficient dead flesh exists within range. Used in this manner, the Abyssal may target up to (Essence) separate characters or constructs with a single activation, increasing the cost of the Charm by two motes per additional target.
OPEN-COFFIN FUNERAL TECHNIQUE
Cost: — ; Mins: Medicine 3, Essence 2; Type: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: Charnel Chirurgeon Deftness
All deathknights know that death is inevitable. Only a few care to make it beautiful. This Charm permanently enhances its prerequisite. Whenever the Abyssal heals a corpse (ambulatory or otherwise) with Charnel Chirurgeon Deftness, he may choose to also refresh it, returning it to the appearance it had when it was alive. Even centuries-old skeletons are returned to seemingly fresh corpses; this falsehood can be revealed by a dramatic Medicine-based action to dissect and examine the pampered carcass, with a difficulty of (Abyssal’s Essence).
If the Abyssal’s use of Charnel Chirurgeon Deftness did not completely heal the corpse, it still bears the marks of its remaining wounds, but otherwise seems fresh. Corpses refreshed in this way continue to decay at the normal rate unless preserved through Eternal Embalming Preparation.
In addition, the Abyssal may apply Charnel Chirurgeon Deftness to any character bearing a prosthetic created by Bone Graft Technique (or an actual necrotech prosthetic). This heals no health levels unless the character would normally be a valid target of that Charm, but it does allow the deathknight to hide the nature of their improved (albeit partially deceased) form, reforming the dead flesh once again to mask all overt sensory indicators of any or all of that character’s necrotic prosthetics. It is still dead flesh, but at most it seems to be rather pale, perhaps creating the appearance of old, faded scar or a slight tan line. If the prosthetic was formed from the dead tissue of a different race, the Abyssal may choose to allow the limb’s “fresh” appearance to synchronise with the majority of the tissue on the target’s body, or else force it to stand out, resulting in them appearing to have a living, malformed dog’s arm (or whatever would be appropriate considering the tissue used).
After (Abyssal’s Essence) days of disguising the nature of the prosthetic, this mask shrivels and fails, skin peeling off and muscles squirming back into their original, gruesome shape. This mask can be enhanced by Eternal Embalming Technique, which does nothing to increase its soak or hardness, but does increase its duration to (Abyssal’s Essence) weeks with each application.
INHUMAN TRANSPLANT MASTERY
Cost: — (6m per mutation); Mins: Medicine 5, Essence 4; Type: Permanent
Keywords: Shaping, Stackable, Mirror (Science of Mutation)
Prerequisite Charms: Ivory Whirlwind Restoration
This Charm permanently enhances Ivory Whirlwind Restoration, enhancing its 5m, 1wp version. That use of the Charm can now target a character other than the Abyssal, allowing him to instantly heal one Crippling effect and replace any number of existing undead prosthetics currently incorporated into that character (living tissue cannot be replaced in this way unless the Abyssal is in direct physical contact with the character). In addition, a complete reshaping of the target’s form (provided by the target being either completely comprised of unliving tissue, or the Abyssal himself) can now produce a wider array of effects, described below:
- The Abyssal may change the gender of a reshaped character, to male, female, or any combination or lack thereof.
- The Abyssal can use this Charm to aid in impersonation, provided he has access to the majority of the unliving tissue of the character he wants the target to be able to impersonate (or, if the target and the impersonated character have the same rough body type, just their head). By wrenching that flesh off the impersonated character’s body and reapplying it elsewhere, the Abyssal allows his target to physically impersonate the deceased. Attempts to discern that the character is an imposter based on physical appearance alone automatically fail.
Obviously, unless the impersonated character was freshly dead, his tissue will show obvious signs of decomposition; Open-Coffin Funeral Technique will be necessary to impersonate anything but a corpse. Note that the Abyssal can use this Charm to replace his own flesh, before using his removed tissue to allow (or force) another character to impersonate him.
- The Abyssal may change the species of a reshaped character, though they must remain within the same rough category; a dog could become a wolf or fox, but not a rhino, and a human could become a beastman or one of the air folk, but not a fish. These changes can be affected with any kind of unliving tissue, but using tissue from an inappropriate source will result in the same malformed, necrotic body-parts produced by Bone Graft Technique, unless the Abyssal uses Open-Coffin Funeral Technique to disguise their morbid provenance. In some cases (as with the alteration of a human to a beastman), this alteration may require the application of mutations, as described below.
- The Abyssal can apply mutations to a reshaped character. Doing so requires that he make an (Intelligence + Medicine) roll, allowing the Abyssal to apply or remove a number of physical mutation points no greater than his rolled successes, at a cost of six motes per mutation. As the tissue for these mutations is drawn from dead bodies they generally have some obviously necrotic aspect, as with the prosthetics applied by Bone Graft Technique, producing tentacles made of repurposed spines, poison glands formed from withered kidneys, and fur made from dozens of reconstituted scalps. Mutations granted in this way are not related to the Wyld; they are simply used to represent the effects of the Abyssal’s inhuman transplants.
Revised and New Infernal Charms
Cost: — ; Mins: Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: Mind-Hand Manipulation
She Who Lives In Her Name needs no other habitation or external aid to work her genius. Whenever an Infernal has this Charm’s prerequisite active, she can Shape her telekinetic force to serve as any Basic tool or workshop appropriate to any area of any Ability. This does not quicken task completion. Weapons can’t be emulated; the Principle of Hierarchy has other Charms for that. Otherwise, the Infernal’s telekinetic tools can be anything, from chisels to paintbrushes to smithies to lockpicks to kitchens to slideshows. The actual effects of the enhanced action take place via precise alteration of reality, so forging a lump of metal into a sword would involve levitating the raw ore, searing it red-hot and stretching the slag to its desired shape.
A second purchase of this Charm makes any tool-and-workshop analogues it creates Transcendent in quality.
EXPERIMENTAL ACCELERATION MASTERY
Cost: — ; Mins: Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: Tool-Transcending Constructs
The Principle of Hierarchy does not wait to recheck the perfection of her plans. Implementation is efficiency. Whenever an Infernal with this Charm emulates tools with Tool-Transcending Constructs to enhance or allow an action, the length of that action’s interval is reduced by one degree of time (from years to seasons to months to weeks to days to hours to minutes to five seconds). Time dilates and warps around the affected target, quickening correct assembly to higher patterns, completion of a surgery, etc. However, the Principle of Hierarchy refuses to recognise those outside of her perfected layout; an action enhanced in this way cannot have the length of its intervals reduced any further by non-Yozi (or Primordial) Charms.
UNSURPASSED DEVIL-CRAFT is unchanged, except that it includes Corrosive Pattern Infliction amongst its possible prerequisites, and affects manses as well as artifacts (Infernally-aspected manses are treated as infernal relics for the purposes of this Charm).
COMPARTMENTALISED LABOUR EXTENSION
Cost: — ; Mins: Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: Tool-Transcending Constructs
Within each hierarchy there is another hierarchy, and a further one within that, each supporting and ordering the one above it. There is even a hierarchy within the tens-of-thousands of orbs that make up the body of She Who Lives in Her Name, though its ordering is a secret to all but Cecelyne. Whenever a warlock uses the tools emulated by Tool-Transcending Constructs to enhance or allow an action, she may ignore any need for (and penalties inflicted by a lack of) assistants. This does not grant the dice that would be gained by an actual pooling of effort. Further, the Infernal can use her compartmentalised mentality to work on a project aided or enhanced by Tool-Transcending Constructs without totally occupying herself with it. The project must remain in the warlock’s general vicinity (within [Willpower+Essence] yards, in fact), but she is free to train, work on another project, or even travel with it following her. She can only have one such separate project running at once, but does not lose access to any of the benefits of Mind-Hand Manipulation (including Tool-Transcending Constructs) while doing so.
INFINITE CO-OPERATIVE HARMONY
Cost: — ; Mins: Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: Unshattered Tongue Perfection
There is no one; there is only all, working in harmonious unison. If the abominations who locked away their creators cannot understand this, they must be made to. This Charm permanently enhances the Infernal’s use of bonus dice acquired through limited teamwork (Exalted, pp. 125) or assistants. If the character granting these dice is currently affected by Unshattered Tongue Perfection, the bonus dice they would grant are converted to an equal number of automatic successes.
A second purchase of this Charm increases the number of characters that can grant the Infernal bonus dice through limited teamwork or acting as assistants by (lower of Bureaucracy or Essence), provided that all characters aiding her in this fashion are affected by Unshattered Tongue Perfection.
At Essence 4+, this Charm may be purchased a third and final time. At this level, any character aiding the Infernal as an assistant who uses automaton virtues or is affected by Unshattered Tongue Perfection is treated as having the minimum necessary abilities to attempt the task on their own (provided the Infernal herself meets these requirements). In addition, Unshattered Tongue Perfection is permanently enhanced, granting all the effects of this Charm to those affected by it.
DESTRUCTION BEGETS CREATION
Cost: — ; Mins: Malfeas 0, Essence 3; Type: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: By Pain Reforged
Wood must be burned to stoke a forge; marble must be chipped to form a statue. Autochthon often found himself a victim of the Empyreal Chaos’ artisan manias; the First was torn limb from limb in order to build sapient life, and one of his greater creations was gutted to form the heart of the Daystar. In Malfeas, this urge burns undiminished; even as the Demon City demolishes itself, new alien districts build themselves from his brazen skin and crystal hair, doused in his vitriolic tears.
When making a Craft roll, the Infernal may acquire additional free successes, provided the raw materials and/or exotic ingredients for the project he is working on could be considered complete, usable items in their own right, rather than simply base materials, unusable except as components. The Infernal gains one free success at each interval for each Resources dot of raw materials acquired in this way, and three successes for each exotic ingredient. These successes are added to each and every interval of the project. Craft rolls enhanced in this manner always qualify to be enhanced by Malfeas’ Excellency.
Valid examples might include smashing apart a wooden house to build a boat, rather than using raw wooden planks, or melting down a pair of orichalcum hearthstone bracers to make a switchklave, rather than simply procuring unforged orichalcum. Note that actual living creatures are always considered to be complete items in their own right for the purposes of this Charm.
This Charm may be purchased a second time at Essence 4+, allowing the Infernal to use his Strength in place of the usual (lower of Dexterity, Perception or Intelligence) on a Craft roll that would gain even one additional success in this fashion, or that would otherwise qualify to be enhanced by Malfeas’ Excellency. It is the prerogative of the Brass City to smash the world into its proper shape, without needing to stoop to delicacy, consideration or thought. In addition, the manner in which functional artifacts can be used as exotic ingredients is altered. Working artifacts can normally only be used as an exotic ingredient if they would be an appropriate component of the artifact being crafted. At this level, however, the Infernal may treat any functional artifact as an appropriate component in any kind of helltech artifact he creates.
FORGED IN FURY
Cost: 5m; Mins: Malfeas 0, Essence 3; Type: Supplemental
Duration: One interval
Prerequisite Charms: Destruction Begets Creation, Insignificant Embers Intuition
Malfeas’ rage is a furnace, in which entire worlds might be beaten into shape. When such inspiration seizes the warlock, he becomes a frenzy of activity, clanging and bashing about his workshop, cursing the pace of the universe for not matching his own genius. The Infernal may use this Charm to enhance any Craft action he makes, reducing the length of its interval by one degree of time. This reduction is increased to two degrees if the project in question is a direct replacement for one of the items destroyed in its making. Further, if the Craft action would gain even one additional success from Destruction Begets Creation, the item’s effective Resources or Artifact rating is halved (rounded up) for the purposes of determining the length of its intervals. However, Malfeas cannot bear to accept the aid of those truly lesser to him; a Craft action enhanced in this way cannot have the length of its intervals reduced any further by non-Yozi (or Primordial) Charms.
If the warlock knows the Charm Sun-Heart Furnace Soul he may add the Obvious keyword to this Charm, as emerald light pulses out from the centre of his chest, and fire dribbles from between his teeth while he works. Spitting on his hands and rubbing them together at this point will set them alight with green flame, allowing the Infernal to use them to pound, heat and carve, removing all need for tools or workshops, and all penalties for crafting without tools. If the warlock crafts a structure in his way, he may also ignore the need for assistants, provided the structure in question is smaller than him.
Revised Sidereal Craft Charm
Excellent Implementation of Objectives
Cost:4m; Mins:Craft 3, Essence 2; Type:Supplemental
Prerequisite Charms: None
Superb works of magical or mundane craftsmanship can become tools of destiny in the right hands. With this Charm, the Sidereal craftsman makes it apparent that destiny simply cannot wait for the object he’s putting together. As a result, circumstances conspire so the Sidereal finishes his work in a fraction of the time such artifice would normally take. The length of that crafting action’s interval is reduced by one degree of time (from years to seasons to months to weeks to days to hours to minutes to five seconds).
Revised Dragon-Blooded Craft Charms
SHAPING HAND STYLE
Cost: 2m; Mins: Craft 2, Essence 1; Type: Simple
Prerequisite Charms: Any Craft Excellency
No Prince of the Earth need carry tools with them; their bodies are temples, created for Creation and creation alike. For the duration of this Charm, the Terrestrial’s Essence gathers about her form, forming a Transcendent tool. This tool is normally invisible, but becomes silhouetted in the Terrestrial’s flaring anima, giving it the appearance of a hammer comprised of flames, a chisel of twisting wood, etc. This tool bypasses the normal rules on tool “specialties”, as it grants its +3 bonus dice to one full area of Craft (elemental or otherwise) chosen upon activation. Otherwise, it functions just as normal for a tool of that quality. By default this tool manifests about the hands, but the Terrestrial can generate it on any of their appendages; timed contests between artisans in the Realm will occasionally place arbitrary limitations on which parts of the body they can use in their crafting, making this use particularly helpful. In any case, the tool does not interfere with the normal functions of the user’s body; a Terrestrial can beat metal one moment and shake hands the next, without needing to deactivate this Charm in between.
The area of Craft affected by this Charm can be changed simply by deactivating and reactivating it. At Essence 3+, however, the chosen area of Craft can be changed as a reflexive non-Charm activation costing two motes.
A second purchase of this Charm at Essence 5+ allows the Terrestrial to increase the cost of this Charm by one point of temporary Willpower in order to have the created tool act as a Fine workshop. However, this effect can only be applied to the area of elemental craft corresponding to the Terrestrial’s aspect, adding the Obvious and Elemental keywords. Esoteric crafts can be accessed only if all their prerequisite elemental Crafts are covered by the Terrestrial’s aspect(s).
Cost: 2m, 1wp (+1m per cubic yard); Mins: Craft 3, Essence 2; Type: Supplemental
Keywords: Combo-OK, Shaping, Touch
Duration: One interval
Prerequisite Charms: Shaping Hand Style
Artisans often say that the essence of sculpture is to observe the rock that one wishes to carve and the simply slice away those portions that are not part of the desired end. This Charm brings truth to that aphorism, allowing the Dragon-Blood to engage in astonishing feats of stonecraft. The Terrestrial may use this Charm to enhance any mundane Craft action he takes that would be covered by Craft (Earth). The Exalt must personally engage in the Crafting, meaning that his Dexterity cannot be eliminated by the use of a workforce or assistants. This Charm reduces the interval for that action by four degrees if the project being crafted is an object, or by three degrees if it is a structure, to a minimum of one minute.
In addition, the Terrestrial may increase the cost of this Charm in order to use any stone, rock or clay that he can touch as raw materials with an appropriate Resources value, regardless of its current state, shattering and reforming it with his fingers. Each cubic yard of stone used in this way costs one additional mote. For the purposes of a Craft action enhanced in this way, rubble or quarried blocks of stone are considered to be Resources 1 objects, allowing an Exalt using this Charm to reduce a fortress wall to gravel (or a fine statue) by spending enough motes. Incidentally, with regards to this effect, Terrestrials with an Earth aspect anima may treat the anima as their own body for the purposes of the Touch keyword.
Cost: 1m or 3m (+1wp); Mins: Craft 3, Essence 2; Type: Simple
Keywords: Combo-OK, Leader, War
Prerequisite Charms: None
The Dragon-Blood may activate this Charm to find the weak spot in some object, at a cost of one mote if he is touching it, or three motes if he can only see it. If the object in question is mundane, a point of structural weakness is revealed to the Exalt, both physical and metaphysical, allowing him to disrupt the flow of arranged Essence about the object’s form to devastating effect. A character who knows of this weakness may make a called shot against the object at a -2 penalty (Exalted, pg 158), allowing them to double the raw damage of that attack.
If the object in question is an artifact with a rating lower than (Essence), he learns of any actual, pre-existing Flaw of Invulnerability it may have (this does not create a Flaw of Invulnerability in artifacts that would normally lack one; it should be noted that many a Dragon-Blood lieutenant who used this Charm to assess a flawless artifact found nothing until their Solar commanders “discovered” its weakness with Keen Understanding of the Core Imperfection, at which point the Flaw became open to them).
Either way, the Terrestrial may communicate his findings to a leader or fellow officer of any mass combat unit he is part of, granting his knowledge to the rest of the unit; the combat engineers of Lookshy and the Realm alike are truly a force to be feared. This Charm is explicitly allowed to be made a part of a Combo with other Abilities.
Of course, as many of the Exalts of the Second Age are learning, often knowing the weakness of a structure is the best way to repair it. A Terrestrial who has successfully examined an object with this Charm reduces the difficulty to repair that item by one, and reduces the length of the interval to do repair it or perform maintenance by one degree of time.
At Essence 3+, a Terrestrial with this Charm may reflexively pay three motes and one point of temporary Willpower as a non-Charm activation when making repairs on an object they have successfully examined. If he does so, the length of that repair interval is reduced to five seconds (the normal minimum, as described in the Craft rules).
CHARM OF LESSER UNMAKING
Cost: 5m; Mins: Craft 5, Essence 3; Type: Simple (Speed varies)
Keywords: Combo-OK, Shaping, Touch
Prerequisite Charms: Flaw-Finding Examination
This Charm can be used to target any mundane object the Terrestrial is touching, allowing him to reduce it into its component parts, arranged neatly in a pile as if ready for initial construction. The Terrestrial effectively Crafts the object in reverse, rolling a dice pool of (Craft + Essence) at a difficulty equal to its Resources value. The interval for this reverse-Craft action lasts a number of seconds equal to five times the Resources value of the deconstructed item (so a Resources 3 item would take fifteen ticks to deconstruct).
Used on a heavy wooden door bound in steel bands, the result would be a stack of precut timbers, some hammered steel bands and a small pile of rivets and nails. Ropes bound in the tightest of knots would be rearranged into neat coils, while a sword blade is separated from its hilt, guard and pommel. Items that consist of a single component, such as a simple cup, are unaffected; this Charm reduces an item into its component parts, not its raw materials (though sometimes these are one and the same).
This Charm has no effect on artifacts.
CHARM OF GREATER UNMAKING
Cost: — ; Mins: Craft 5, Essence 4; Type: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: Charm of Lesser Unmaking
This Charm permanently enhances its prerequisite, allowing the Terrestrial to reduce a deconstructed item to its raw materials rather than its component parts; a heavy wooden door bound in steel bands will be reduced to a pile of uncut logs and hunks of raw iron, while fine jewellery is reduced to uncut gems and unprocessed gold ore, and pottery melts into clay. This kind of deconstruction functions even on single-piece items.
In addition, that Charm can now be placed in a Combo with Charms of other Abilities, and the interval for its reverse-Craft action is reduced to just five seconds, regardless of the Resources value of the object being targeted.
Finally, that Charm can now be used to target structures without needing to individually deconstruct every component object. Such an activation costs an additional point of temporary Willpower, and the interval of the reverse-Craft action lasts a number of minutes equal to five times the Resources value of the deconstructed item, making it a dramatic action. This Charm cannot target structures that have an area greater than (Craft + Essence) yards.
TEN THOUSAND HAMMERS IN UNISON
Cost: — ; Mins: Craft 5, Essence 2; Type: Permanent
Prerequisite Charms: Any Craft Excellency
Each of the dragon’s scales are an anvil, linked and beaten by the hammers of the elements, working in concert to build Creation atop Pasiap’s back. A Terrestrial with this Charm increases the number of characters who can assist him on a Craft action by (Essence), provided all the characters assisting him are other Dragon-blooded. In addition, if the Terrestrial himself acts as an assistant to a Celestial Exalt on a Craft action, he grants one more bonus dice than he otherwise would have.
Revised Alchemical Craft Charms
Cost: 4m [1m]; Mins: Wits 3, Essence 2; Type: Reflexive
Keywords: Combo-OK, Obvious
Prerequisite Charms: Any Mental Attribute Augmentation
This Charm fits into an Alchemical’s hands. Upon activation, the character’s hands dissolve into a churning of pulleys, gears, bars and bits that reconfigure themselves on the fly into any combination of tools desired. These utilities range from basic screwdrivers and hammers to advanced Essence calibration devices such as hyperion keys and valgrind couplers. For its duration, the Alchemical is considered to have access to any variety of Transcendent tool or Fine workshop necessary for Craft.
By limiting the manifested tools to the sharper, less cumbersome parts of her implant, an Alchemical can change the damage type of her unarmed attacks to lethal, if it was not already.
Unlimited Contingency Tools:
In addition to the Charm’s usual functions, the Alchemical is considered to have access to any variety of Basic tool necessary for any ability, as well as any variety of Transcendent tool necessary for Bureaucracy, Investigation, Larceny, or Linguistics.
Comprehensive Surgical Systems (Intelligence 3):
Taking the form of a set of bulky bracers built directly into the Exalt’s arms, this submodule broadens the Omnitool Implant, providing scalpels, braces, callipers, stethoscopes and all manner of medical tools. In addition to the Omnitool’s usual functions, the Alchemical is considered to have access to any variety of Transcendent tool or Fine workshop necessary for Medicine.
Moreover, the Exalt can perform surgery without inflicting more than a single level of lethal damage (regardless of the procedure’s difficulty). He also halves the length of the interval of any Medicine action involving surgery, and automatically succeeds on rolls to staunch bleeding or treat infected wounds.
A second installation of this submodule (requiring Intelligence 4, Wits 3) allows the Exalt to reduce the interval of any Medicine action that would normally take no more than an hour by two degrees of time, to the usual minimum of five seconds as a Speed 5 miscellaneous action that cannot be flurried.
A third installation (requiring Intelligence 5, Essence 3) allows a five-minute-long procedure to remove any Crippling injury less severe than true amputation. If an Exalt could ultimately heal the wound on her own (given enough time) the Comprehensive Surgical Systems can rapidly sew and fuse the tissue together.
Secondary Telefactor Assembly (Intelligence 3, Essence 3):
Whenever the Exalt successfully crafts a mundane item with her Omnitool Implant, that item is always of Exceptional quality if it would normally be lower, as though the Alchemical had rolled sufficient additional successes to make it so. A second installation of this submodule at Intelligence 5+ makes it so that items crafted with the Omnitool Implant are always Transcendent .
CREATOR FUGUE CONSTRUCTION ENGINES is unchanged, except for its submodule:
Architectural Army of One: While Omnitool Implant is active, that Charm allows the Alchemical to ignore any need for (or penalties inflicted by a lack of) assistants when crafting. This does not grant the dice that would be gained by an actual pooling of effort.
TECHNOLOGICAL ANALYSIS ENGRAMS is unchanged, except that it affects manses as well as artifacts.